Connect with us
>

Archives

Maritime Fortunes If Harnessed, Can Buoy Crude Oil Fluctuations- Bulangu

Published

on

  •  As IMF warns Nigeria is heading into recession

If Maritime administrators and technocrats would leave politics alone, synergize and restore the glory of the industry, Nigeria would be out of the wood in no time

Acting Managing Director, Ports and Cargo Handling Services Limited, Mallam Bulangu indicated this in Lagos, noting that the starting point could be working towards creating bigger ports, rehabilitating the nation’s highways and assiduously working to capture the inland markets

“Honestly, you know a lot of things have being left to deteriorate”, he indicated, pointing out that if stakeholders close ranks, and harness the country’s natural advantage in terms of strategic location and market, the resultant conducive environment would be capable of seeing the Maritime industry effectively replacing the fluctuating fortunes of the crude oil sector

“Nigeria has a large market. But we need bigger ports”, highlighted Bulangu, noting that if the country’s ports performed better with its 13.5metre draught, what should we expect if we could acquire functional ocean ports.

Positing that “Nigeria is the biggest market in Africa, besides our own population as backup”, the seasoned Port administor counsel that our current efforts and vision must include becoming a hub, and developing a network of outreach which should accommodate Mali, Chad, Cameroon, and a part of Benin Republic stretching up to Mauritania and Burkina fast.

“But how can we successfully cargo their Cargoes, if our roads were so neglected?

“The road from Lagos to Kano is like you are going to hell; the road from Port Harcourt, up to the North is even worse.

“It is the same from Warri, and even between Ore and Port Harcourt, how is the road? There’s probably nothing to write home about, not to talk of Calabar to Aba; and I know sometimes, when it rains, the road gets flooded”, he noted further.

Bulangu however lauded the Federal Government for a recent Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) forex policy relaxation, those in the exports and import fields can become more vibrant,since it is easier now to access money.

“The policy may not have outrightly made money available, but it is now easier to access than it was before”, he concluded

In the meantime, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Tuesday, slashed its growth forecast for the Nigerian economy this year, saying a combination of plunging oil revenues and weakened investor confidence will push it into recession.

The IMF said it expects Africa’s largest economy to contract by 1.8 percent this year, after having forecast in April a 2.3 percent expansion.

Nigeria’s stall, and sluggish activity in the number two economy, South Africa, is expected to pull down economic growth across sub-Saharan Africa, the IMF said, forecasting a “dramatic implication.”

“In 2016, regional output growth will fall short of population growth, implying declining per capita incomes,” it said. Nigeria’s economy has been battered hard by the plunge in oil prices, the main source of the country’s income, as well as prices of other key commodities.

In addition, rebels in the southern oil region have forced crude production cutbacks, and internal unrest, especially attacks by the Boko Haram group in the north, has also hurt the economy.

Inflation hit an 11-year high of 16.5 percent in June as prices of food and energy jumped after the government freed up the naira currency in April, allowing it to plummet against the US dollar.

Also weighing on output have been electricity shortages due to rebels’ sabotage of the gas pipelines that fire power plants.

Additional report from Citizen

Archives

WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

Published

on

…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

Continue Reading

Archives

Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

Published

on

The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

Continue Reading

Archives

Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

Published

on

…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Editor’s Pick

Politics